Chris' doctor raises some very good points, and the responses here do not really acknowledge that.
One thing that doesn't appear logical is how is it possible to do a blinded study? This procedure is done with the person awake.
A blinded study does not necessarily mean that the patient is unaware of the procedure or treatment, just that the examining doctor or medical professional is. See the Campath trials - patients in this study know which treatment they are given. Having the doctor blinded is a must
in order to eliminate possible biases, and most trials are strict in this regard. A study in which both doctor and patient are unaware of the treatment is called double-blinded.
he screening trial WAS blinded. There were 65 MS patient and 235 controls. That WAS a blinded study. The treatment wasn't blinded, that is true. Why would you not treat a venous malformation
Though the initial Doppler scans were blinded, the follow-up scans were not. From Zamboni's paper "Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in patients with multiple sclerosis:"
Venography was performed being aware of the patients' diagnoses
Given that with the ultrasound, pateints only had to meet 2 out of 5 criteria, to meet this always seemed somewhat easier to get positive results, whereas the venography would be the proof in the pudding. And the neurological results of treatment were not blinded. Regardless of the ethics of treating stenoses, having an examining neuro blinded is important to the accuracy of the results.
On the issues of what causes the spinal lesions - many who have spinal lesions here are reporting they do not have blockages of the azygous vein. This doesn't really agree with Zamboni's results - so then what? And though this wasn't in the doctor's list of concerns, one thing that has bothered me is, in Zamboni's theory, why exactly is myelin being destroyed? Immune cells go after the iron that accumulates, and they just happen to also go after the myelin sheath?
They reported that the quality of life improved in PPMS and SPMS and there was no progression.
In Zamboni's latest study, the MSFC scores for progressive patients were not statistically significant. And, though the QOL measure was significant for PP patients, the QOL is basically a questionnaire. So it would seem this is pretty subjective.
For the RRMS patients, he reports the number of relapse-free patients went from 50% to 27%. For the 35 RRMS patients, this is 17.5 patients and 9.45 patients, respectively. How can you have a fraction of a person?
And it's not clear from the study, but it looks like the MSFC test was given once before the procedure and once at the 18 month follow-up. Most clinical trials perform this test on a regular basis, say every 3 months, to get trending data. Performing it once doesn't have as much value, since, on any given day, the results of components of the test could vary (I know this from experience).